Differences in the force profile delivered by different types of end-effectors suggest that the choice of end-effector for a haptic interface can have a considerable effect on the perception of the human user. In the present study two different end-effector types were evaluated for two different haptic interfaces. Conventional probe-stylus end-effectors were tested on the PHANToM 3-degree-of-freedom (DOF) force feedback haptic interface and for the Immersion IE2000 2-DOF force feedback joystick. These were compared to thimble-gimbal end-effectors into which the index fingertip is inserted (standard for the PHANToM and specially constructed for the IE2000). In a task in which subjects were asked to judge the orientation of virtual sinusoidal gratings, no significant differences in performance were observed. Results are discussed in terms of tasks in which the differential cues delivered by different end-effectors might influence performance.

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